Press Release 2007-05 Phony Health Insurance Plan Ordered to Cease and Desist


Arizona Department of Insurance
100 North 15th Avenue, Suite 261

Phoenix, AZ  85007-2630

Starting July 1, 2020, we became the
Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions (DIFI).

Media Contact: Erin Klug Public Information Officer 602.364.3471

For Immediate Release October 12, 2007

PHOENIX – Insurance Director Christina Urias has ordered National Trade Business Alliance of America to immediately stop offering, soliciting, issuing or delivering health insurance to Arizona residents. This unlicensed entity may also have marketed products under the names: Affinity Health Plans of America, National Trade Business Association, NTBAA, National Transportation Benefit Alliance, Qualified Administrative Specialists of America, Family Health Care Services, Inc., America’s Best Benefits, and American Employers Association. The Texas, North Carolina and Pennsylvania insurance departments previously sanctioned some of these entities for similar unauthorized activity in their states.

This bogus health insurance plan sent an unsolicited fax to an Arizona small business and its employees. The faxed advertisement stated: “Attention Employees: Health care you can afford, $124 individual rate, $173 family rate...Expires Friday!” Typical of phony insurance solicitations, the fax did not contain any identification or business name, only a toll free phone number.

Watch for warning signs. If you didn’t request the information, if the prices sound too good to be true, if no health information is required, if the low price offer is only for a limited time, and-- most importantly--if the advertisement does not contain any verifiable insurance business information that you can trace back to a legitimate, state authorized insurance company, throw it away!

“Unfortunately, many small business owners are finding it increasingly difficult to afford health insurance for their employees, so solicitations for low-cost health plans are tempting,” said Insurance Director Christina Urias. “Sham health insurers don’t pay claims, so it’s important to do your homework before you buy to ensure you’re doing business with an authorized insurance company.”

“Don’t risk unpaid medical expenses,” says Urias. “Before you pay, stop and call the Arizona Department of Insurance to confirm that you’re doing business with a legitimate insurance company.”

Consumers, employers and agents can easily verify that insurers are authorized to do business in Arizona by calling the Arizona Department of Insurance at 602-364-2499 or 800-325-2548 (outside Phoenix).1

1 See attached consumer tips on avoiding phony insurance.

Ways to Avoid Being a Victim of Phony Insurance

The best protection is prevention! You wouldn’t choose a nursing home or hire a builder without doing some homework...the same applies to insurance!

• Verify before you buy! Check the validity of the insurance company and agent by contacting the Department of Insurance: or (602) 364-2499 or (800) 325-2548 outside Phoenix

(Check the exact insurance company name being used -- scam companies often use names similar to legitimate insurance companies).

  • Fake insurance comes in all types: health, boat, medical malpractice, surety, business and professional liability, long term care. It is marketed to all types of people and businesses.
  • Don’t let slick looking websites, business cards, “official” forms, and marketing materials persuade you that an insurance entity is legitimate.
  • Review documentation carefully—make sure it looks “original”, not photocopied; look for a seal and authentic signatures.
  • If the paperwork looks suspicious, contact the insurance company listed to verify that a policy was issued and call the Department of Insurance to verify licensure.
  • Research the insurer: contact the BBB, the Corporation Commission, and the U.S. Department of Labor; get financial ratings from AM Best and other financial rating services; ask the Department of Insurance for complaint figures and financial information.
  • Check out websites: Is there a physical address? Are there names of company officers? Are there valid phone numbers? Is there a way for you to contact the company besides email? Don’t settle for a P.O. Box, voice mail or email.
  • Ask questions, keep notes about who you spoke to and when, keep copies of documents, and always pay with a check or credit card.
  • Research “Discount” health plans and cards carefully. They are not insurance and typically not government regulated. “Discount” plans have been the subject of many nationwide fraud allegations. 

Warning signs!

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

Proceed cautiously if...

  •  You get a quote that is noticeably lower than ones you’ve previously received.

  •  You receive an unsolicited offer, quote or advertisement by fax, phone, email or mail.

  •  You're told there is "no underwriting" or they "take all applicants", or if they do not ask you any questions about your current health status or prior claims experience.

  •  You’re told the advertised price “expires” or is for a “limited time only.”

  •  No physical address, phone numbers, or names of company officers appear on website or literature.

  •  The alleged insurer’s name is similar to that of another well-known insurance company.

  •  You’re told “This insurance is not regulated by the State" or “This is not insurance," but it sounds like insurance!


Insurers Offering Individual Health Insurance in Arizona

Lists insurance companies that are offering health insurance to individuals and families in Arizona in 2020.  Open enrollment starts November 1st and now runs through December 17th, 2019.  Individuals can start shopping for coverage now at or (Spanish)

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Regulation In 2019, the Arizona Legislature adopted the NAIC Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Act at Arizona Revised Statutes (“ARS”) by enacting the Corporate Governance Act at Title 20, Chapter 2, Article 16 (Laws 2019, 1st Reg. Sess., Ch. 180, § 1).   The Department of Insurance (“Department”) seeks to adopt the correlate Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Regulation.  ARS § 20-492.02 allows the Department to adopt rules to carry out the Act upon notice and an opportunity to be heard.  The Legislature has exempted the Department from Title 41, Chapter 6 for one year after the effective date of the Act.  (Laws 2019, 1st Reg. Sess., Ch. 180, § 2.)
Arizona's Surprise Bill Resolution Report for 2019

As shown in the attached report prepared pursuant to A.R.S. § 20-3118(A), the Department of Insurance received 91 requests for dispute resolution in Calendar Year 2019.  Of those, 53 have been resolved or closed, and health plan enrollees saved $41,538 by submitting their surprise bills for resolution.  

Not all health care bills qualify for the surprise bill resolution process.  The Department's Suprise Out-of-network Billing Dispute Resolution website (, and especially the section entitled, "I got a surprise bill. Can I submit a request for arbitration?") lists conditions when a health care bill may not qualify under Arizona law for the dispute resolution process.  But for those that do, the enrollee will only be responsible for paying the enrollee's cost-sharing amounts (copay, coinsurance and deductible) if the enrollee provides information the Department needs, and participates in an informal settlement teleconference with the health care insurer and the health care provider.

Fire Readiness and Your Insurance Coverage

Complete three steps to be prepared

STEP ONE: Inventory your contents. 
Making a record of what you have provides two major benefits.  First, it could help you estimate the cost of replacing your contents, which you could use to make sure you have enough insurance coverage.  Second, it will help you identify missing or destroyed items if you need to file an insurance claim. Keep your inventory records in a safe place outside your home, such as a safe deposit box at a bank, or in a secure online location. 

  • The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has a free app called, “MyHome,” available from Google Play and from the Apple App Store, which can help you keep track of your personal property. 
  • The Insurance Information Institute provides advice that can make creating a home inventory easier (

STEP TWO: Understand what your homeowners’ insurance policy covers.
If you do not have your policy on hand, get a copy from your insurance company or insurance agent. Then, make sure your policy provides enough coverage for your dwelling, contents and additional living expenses.

  • Dwelling Coverage:  This pays to reconstruct your home, from ground up if necessary.  It does not include the cost of the land on which your home sits because you will still have that, but it should include the cost to remove a destroyed structure and replace it a home that is similar to what you had prior to the fire.
  • Contents Coverage:  This pays to repair or replace your personal belongings. Your policy may provide contents coverage based on a set percentage of your dwelling coverage, but you can pay for more contents coverage if you think you need it. 
    • Check to see if your coverage will pay “actual cash value” or “replacement cost.”  Actual cash value (ACV) means what an item was worth when it was destroyed based on its initial cost minus depreciation or loss in value due to its age, condition and wear-and-tear.  Replacement cost (RC) means the cost to replace or repair damaged or destroyed property with materials of “like kind and quality”. Claims for damaged or destroyed items will initially be paid based on the ACV of the item.  When the item is replaced, a copy of the receipt must be provided to the insurance company to obtain payment of the balance owed.  Many policies require the damaged items to be replaced within six (6) months.
    • If you have expensive items, such as artwork, jewelry or computers, you can purchase or increase “scheduled” property coverage to make sure you have sufficient coverage for those items.
  • Additional Living Expense (a.k.a. Loss of Use) Coverage. This pays additional costs you may resulting from the property damage.  For example, if you are not able to live in your home, your policy may cover the costs of lodging and food, boarding your pets, etc.

Importantly, insurance policies are often lengthy, detailed documents.  Do not hesitate to contact your agent or insurance company representative if you have any questions. 

STEP THREE: Minimize your fire risk.
Periodically inspect your home for overloaded power strips, damaged electrical cords or other potential fire hazards.  Keep vegetation and combustible materials away from your home.  If you are in an area that is at higher risk for wildfire, follow “Avoiding Wildfire Damage” guidelines published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ( 

Remain organized and keep good records

If you are the victim of a fire, remaining organized after an event can be difficult, but it is essential so that you can receive the benefits that your insurance coverage provides.

  • Keep all receipts for living expenses (housing, food, etc.) and for all items that you replace or repair.  Insurance companies may require that you submit original receipts. You should either copy, scan or take clear photos of receipts to provide yourself a backup. 
  • Take photos of your property and the damage.
  • Keep records of all your conversations, emails and letters about your claim with your insurance company and agent.  Take notes of conversations, documenting who you talked to, when you talked to them and what you were told. When possible, send an e-mail message to the person with whom you had the conversation to confirm your understanding of what you were told.
  • Do not throw away or destroy damaged property until your insurer inspects the property and tells you in writing/e-mail that you can do so.
  • Take an inventory of the damaged contents.  If you have an inventory from before the fire, use it to help identify items that were damaged/destroyed. 
  • When the insurer inspects the damage, do a complete walkthrough of your property and point out any issues or concerns you have.
  • When beginning the repair process, get multiple repair estimates from licensed contractors (look up records on the Arizona Registrar of Contractors “Contractor Search” page at with good reputations (look up records on the Better Business Bureau website at
  • Don’t delay.  Insurance policies generally have restrictions on how long after a fire you can file claims.

Persons with disabilities may request materials in an alternative format by contacting our Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator at (602) 364-0108. 

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